Stamping 101

Lesson 3: Exploring SU! Kits

Now that we have discussed the 3 essentials to stamping AND explained the necessities of a basic tool kit, I am going to contradict myself for a moment and say,

It is possible to create with less than the necessities!


Yes, it is true!  How, you ask? My answer is…. SU! All-Inclusive Kits!!

Stampin’ Up! does an amazing job of planning for every type of crafter and creating opportunities to make stamping and papercrafting  possible for everyone!

SU! All-Inclusive Kits are the perfect solution for those that are looking for a way to get started with the least amount of investment.  You will find several options of these kits in the current Annual Catalog (pages 6-10).  I will feature 2 of them today today that I feel are great starter kits for card makers.  One makes a gorgeous collection of cards for just about every need a card giver may have and one features a technique that is very on trend in the paper crafting world.

What makes these kits so great?  Well, they arrive in a cute giftable box (meaning it can be used once you have completed the kit to package a present in) and you receive almost everything you need inside that box, including an exclusive stamp set, ink, block, and pre-cut and scored paper pieces plus embellishments to complete 20 cards!  Refills for each kit are also available allowing you to get more bang for your buck!  The only items you would need to have on hand to complete the projects are adhesives and something to clean your stamps, The Simply Shammy is perfect for kits because it also fits in the box making kits very transportable and perfect for on-the-go stampers!  Watch and enjoy!

Are kits just for beginners?  Of course not!  Because they are so transportable, they are the perfect solution for those that wish to take a craft project on holidays with them or even to complete while sitting at the ballfields during your little one’s batting practice.  Because much of the prep work has been thought through and completed for you, it is so easy just to toss in your Simply Shammy and a few adhesives and go.  Plus, they are sharable!  Quality time made fun when you sit with a friend or loved one and complete these projects together!  Even the most experienced cardmakers can take the bits and pieces provided in these kits and pair them with supplies they already have to create their own works of art.  There are just no limits!

In addition to the kits you will find in the annual catalog (and don’t forget to check the seasonal catalogs as well, SU! includes seasonal kits in those publications), we also have Paper Pumpkin!

Paper Pumpkin is a monthly subscription kit that is delivered to your mailbox, fully equipped and ready for a crafting escape.  There is no commitment necessary with this subscription and you can choose to skip the month if you wish or even up your subscription to more than one kit if you have someone in mind you want to share it with (maybe your mother is coming to town, or a grandchild and you want to have something available for a rainy day activity).  The contents are always a surprise but the kits are always seasonally appropriate.  Pre-purchased gift subscriptions are also available.  You can read more about Paper Pumpkin and how to subscribe HERE.

Watch me unwrap and put together a project from one of my latest Paper Pumpkin kits.

While I think Kits are a great way to get your feet wet, supplement your hobby with fun new projects and ideas and/or provide a source for quick and easy crafting, who wants to stay in a bubble?  Let’s move on to the next lesson and learn how to draw from inspiration to create a card of our own.

Product List

Stamping 101

Lesson 2: Find Your Niche

There are so many options when it comes to WHEN and WHERE you paper craft.  As I said before, it truly is a craft for ANYONE!  I have heard people say “I can’t be a stamper because…  1.I don’t have time to go to classes, 2. I don’t have the money to invest in all the needed supplies 3.  I’m not artistic enough, etc.  But, if you give me a chance, I will show you how false those statements are!  Below are just SOME of the opportunities I have for my customers:

LOCAL options

Papercrafting is a wonderful social hobby.  Getting together with friends to create is both fun and stress-relieving.  I offer a variety of classes for my local customers to choose from.  You can always check my calendar for class offerings and details. Most classes cost $10-15 (or FREE with a qualifying product purchase), take approx. 2 hours and most of the time all supplies are provided for you (read class descriptions to see if you need your own adhesive or tool kit)!

Now, if you prefer to stamp in the comfort of your own home, with a few friends, I can provide materials and instruction for that as well (and you can earn Host Rewards).  Perfect for Girls Night Out activity, showers, birthdays, etc. these custom classes are also great because they can be tailored to your specific needs and wants.  I’m happy to tell you more about any of these opportunities.  Contact me anytime!

ONLINE options

For those not located in the Shelby County area, or with time limitations that make it difficult to come to a class in my home, consider  my Stamp of the Month Club.  As the name suggests, each month I will choose a Stamp of the Month to design a class around and post the details the last week of the month.  There is no ongoing commitment, you can choose to participate however often you like, every month or once a year.   There are a variety of purchase options that allow you to tailor the class to meet your specific needs.   This is a great way to grow your stamp collection and sample various embellishments and decide whether or not you would like to order full packs, rolls, etc.

Additionally, I post free tutorials regularly on my blog.  Most of these tutorials come with a supply list, which contains direct links where you can order the needed supplies or compare to what you already have on hand to recreate at your convenience. When making your purchases online, I recommend you read about my Stampers with Benefits club which awards perks and/or free products for purchases over $25.  I appreciate all of my customers.  Your interest in my classes and your support by shopping with me allows me to continue doing what I love to do! and I enjoy being able to reward you for your patronage.

Classes and Clubs are a fun opportunities to learn techniques, try new products and build up your inventory of available cards to use as you need them.  Whether you gather in large groups, with a few friends or even tuck yourself into a quiet place and craft alone, you can find happiness and joy in this craft – in the making, in the giving and even in the receiving!!

In the next lesson we will explore another option to help jump start your creativity, learn some new techniques and discover an economical way to sample a variety of products with Stampin’ Up’s All-Inclusive kits!  Whether you are trying to fit this hobby into a busy schedule, or simply want something you can make with minimal prep time or even something you can easily take along with you for crafting on the go, kits are fun to make and fun to share!  Follow me to Lesson 3: Exploring SU! Kits.


Stamping 101

Lesson 1 – Tools of the Trade

There are 3 essentials when it comes to stamping:  STAMPS, INK AND PAPER.



Stampin’ Up! offers 3 styles of stamps: Red Rubber in both traditional wood mount and clear mount as well as Photopolymer (the newest to join the family).  Watch my video in my All About Series explaining all the specifics for each style and learn some tips and tricks in using them.

You can find a stamp for practically any imaginable need.  When just getting started, I make these two suggestions: 1.  Consider: What is your need?  What kind of card or project are you looking to make?  2.  With this end goal in mind, look for a stamp set that could be more versatile beyond that project.  We have many sets in the catalog that are what I call “Super Sets”.  These sets have a combination of sentiments, backgrounds and artistry.  The following is a short list of suggested Super Sets just to give you an idea.  There are many, many more available.  All stamp sets on this list are available for $25 or less:

  1. Detailed with Love (page 39)
  2. P.S. You’re the Best (page 48)
  3. Happy Birthday Gorgeous (page 72)
  4. Little Elephant (page 91)
  5. Labels to Love (page 103)
  6. Best Birds (page 108)
  7. Sheltering Tree (page 140)
  8. Waterfront (page 149)
  9. Oh So Eclectic (page 156)
  10. Bouquet Blooms (page 167)

Do you have a copy of the new Annual Catalog?  Click here to find out how to get your FREE copy and/or to view it online now.

This is where the inspiration starts to ignite!


Stampin’ Up! offers several styles of ink and there is so much that you can do with it!  We have Classic (Dye) Ink Pads in each of our 50 beautiful colors as well as some specialty ink pads.   However, when it comes to putting color onto your stamped images and projects we won’t just limit you to ink pads. There are 2 kinds of markers as well – Stampin’ Write (Dye Based) and Stampin’ Blends (Alcohol Based).  I have a video explaining the different kinds of ink and when to use them as well as other coloring options.

This is where the fun begins!


As great and wonderful as ink is, it isn’t much in the paper crafting world unless it’s put on paper.  Stampin’ Up! has some of the finest quality of paper that I have had the pleasure of working with (and believe me when I say I have tried A LOT!).  From our ultra smooth Whisper White and Very Vanilla, that is above all others when it comes to providing you with a clean crisp image, to its newer cousin the Ultra Thick which not only has the same stampability but makes luxurious card bases in the same two colors.  You will also fall in love with rest of the high quality, thick cardstock in perfect color match to our ink colors (never have to worry again if your shades of color will clash). SU! also carries an entire line of specialty papers and a line of Design Series Paper Collections that will blow your socks off!  Learn more about SU! Papers and watch my paper test to see why I think SU! paper is the best available!

This is where your vision starts to come to life!

That sums up the Essential 3 in Stamping.  However, in order to create a finished product you will also need a basic tool kit.  I think everyone’s opinion will begin to vary here.  I’m sure some of the items I feel like I couldn’t craft without NOW are things that I did not have when I first start in this craft 20 years ago and I have kept this in mind as I created this starter tool kit list.

My husband always says having the proper tools for the job makes the task so much more pleasant and I completely agree with him (even though I think my tools are waaaay cooler than his tools – LOL)!

  1. Stampin’ Trimmer (126889)  It’s name is somewhat misleading because it does so much more than trimming paper! I always keep extra blade refills on hand as well (126995) (NOTE:  I have a video in my All About Series specifically for this wonderful trimmer because it is JUST THAT AWESOME!  Learn more HERE)
  2. Paper Snips (103579) These super sharp snips are perfect for fussy cutting your stamped images, creating banner ends, and so much more.  I love that they come with a plastic blade guard that helps to protect from the sharp edges/tip when not in use.
  3. Stampin’ Pierce Mat (126199) Not only does this mat protect your work surface when using your piercing tool, it is the perfect dense cushion on which to stamp your photopolymer stamps to assure a clean, crisp image (you will learn more about this in the first lesson on stamping.
  4. Simply Shammy (147042) and/or Stampin’ Scrub (126200) with Stampin’ Mist (102394)  You are making an investment when you purchase stamps.  With proper care and cleaning they will last you a VERY long time (some of mine are 15+ years old!) I don’t think I could ever do without my Stampin’ Scrub/Mist; however, I am LOVING my new Simply Shammy and I feel confident in saying that if your budget is tight you would be fine to start with the shammy until you can add the Stampin’ Scrub and Mist to your collection.
  5. Adhesives – Stampin’ Up offers a wide assortment of adhesives; however, not every adhesive can be used in every job.  There is a chart on page 213 of the 2018-19 catalog for suggested uses for each adhesive (Printable version: Adhesive Cheat Sheet).  I use them all; however, I would recommend you start with the most useful 3 (this is my opinion of course, based on what I use the most): Multipurpose Liquid Glue (110755), Snail (104332) and Stampin’ Dimensionals (regular: 104430 or mini: 144108)

Basic Tool Kit

NOTE:  Ordering your basic tool kit from me using the current Host Code will earn you some FREE goodies.  Read more about using the Host Code and my Stampers with Benefits club and the perks that come with it.  Additionally, if you send me an email letting me know you ordered your tool kit with me, I’ll send you a Clear Mount Stamp case to store your Simply Shammy for FREE!

A few other items I highly recommend you add to your collection, as you are able, are a Bone Folder (102330) for making crisp, clean fold lines, Grid Paper (130148) for protecting your work surface and providing a ruler and lines for placement, and the Stampin’ Scrub 126200) and Stampin’ Mist (102394) for thorough cleaning and care of your stamps and maybe a punch or two in basic shapes for adding additional elements to your projects (such as the Starburst/143717, Pretty Label/143715,  Everyday Label/144668 or Scalloped Tag Topper/133324).

Highly Recommended Supplements to the Basic Tool Kit

Grid Paper


The basic tool kit is just that – basic.  It’s not too big it and doesn’t require much space to store.  In fact, when I first started out all my products fit into a clear plastic Iris Box or tote bag with pockets.  Something I could just tuck into a closet or hang on a door hook when I finished crafting.  Over the past couple of decades it has grown just a tad (*wink, wink*) but this is truly enough when you start to allow you to make some lovely projects.    Whether you are ready to invest in this tool kit and get started on the path to paper crafting or you are searching for an even more affordable way to start, continue on to Lesson 2: Finding Your Niche to learn about some options that are helpful when you just get started..